Shuumatsu no Izetta – 07

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After a dull and appallingly animated opening scene where a bunch of old white guys from all over Europe (plus “Atlanta” AKA alternate-America) contemplate what to do about a new German aircraft carrier, their host Lord Redford introduces them to Fine and Izetta, with all the requisite magical theatricality.

The two don’t just come hat-in-hand, asking for troops, but with something they can do for them: Izetta will destroy the carrier, giving them one less thing to worry about (and commit precious resources to).

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In what can probably be better described than as a “quasi-yuri” scene, after Fine teases and tickles Izetta they lie in bed together in their matching lilac negligees, gazing into each other’s eyes.

Fine repeats her guilt about asking so much about Izetta, but reiterates the importance of being useful to their allies; Izetta repeats her total commitment to Fine in all things. We get it, show: they’re very close. The two girls were, at least, far better drawn than all the stodgy men at the beginning.

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Also well-animated (and staged): Izetta’s operation. With two Lancaster bombers as her escort, she takes command of four 760-kg torpedoes and heads to the fjord base where the carrier lies. We get some simply stunning views of her streaking through the air with her four ballistic buddies.

Alas, to her horror, the carrier isn’t there when she arrives: it’s started out to sea, and an ambush awaits her, led by the grizzled ace Basler in a shiny new inverse gullwing plane. Between him, the other fighters, and a cloud of flak from other surface assets, Izetta’s complement of four torps quickly dwindles to two.

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Though Groman assured her she’d need all four to sink the carrier, she uses the last two in a clever way – sending one straight down, missle-style into the weak elevator area, and the other into the fuel supply. It’s mission accomplished for Izetta, but little does she know both Berkman and Ricelt accomplished their mission too.

The carrier was nothing more than bait, set to lure Izetta into an area with highly variable ley lines. Berkman observed sudden losses in Izetta’s magic as she flew through the invisible variations (she’s apparently unable to sense them).

Now the enemy knows (or is pretty darn sure) of her weakness. With that in mind, it looks like Germania came out on top on this one, since the carrier was essentially doomed anyway.

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Keijo!!!!!!!! – 07

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The Gist: Cockroach-chan practices pulling turnips out of the ground with a rope tied to her butt. Eventually, she learns how to do it, which should make her vacuum butt cannon more effective.

Elsewhere, the rest of the class has to wear the bondage swim suits but mostly they touch each other’s boobs, wear tight bras and panties and yuck-around.

The Verdict: While the visuals were basically amusing at first, the only meaningful aspect of this ‘camp’ arc is technique building and some side-exposition by the teachers. Unfortunately, technique learning was more interesting (novel) at the beginning of the show. ho-hum

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Keijo!!!!!!!! – 06

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The Gist: This marks the beginning of the school-team-against-school-team portion of Keijo but first, it’s time to stop at the obligatory training camp for some pro-pointers. While there, Cockroach-chan learns she has a weakness but doesn’t learn what that is.

The other girls go shopping.

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The Verdict: Keijo hasn’t really suffered for its soft T&A so far but, when the goofiness of the sport isn’t front and center, and when the girls are mostly just screwing around/dry humping each other, things rapidly fall apart.

If anything, the biggest failing of this week’s episode is that it did nothing with the sports-anime convention. It doesn’t help that I just watched Days’ take on sports camp rivalries, and still remember Haikyuu’s dull exploration a few seasons back. Worse worse, at least Haikyuu!! built up some of the friendships and rivalries across its sport (and school league) while doing the technique-learning of camp.

Not here. Nope. This may as well have been fill.

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Yuri!!! on Ice – 07

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The Gist: Yuri earns a silver… but there’s a silver lining.

After his flawless skating in the first half, Yuri completely freaks out and looks like he’s going to death spiral in the second half. In an attempt to get Yuri back on track, Victor says he will take responsibility if Yuri fails and resign as his coach.

This sends Yuri over the edge, but in an unexpected way: he’s used to living with his mistakes and has been worried that people would tie his failings to Victor. The cry does him good and he has a ver relaxed, thoughtful, and above all else surprising match.

Next up, Russia with love…

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The Verdict: I was critical of last week’s episode for throwing an pile of characters at us, each with their own agenda and relationships. This week, I have to look back on that choice more positively, as all that info has had a chance to sink in and — only from that experience — was it possible to really enjoy all the other skating going on while Yuri and Victor wait.

Yuri’s emotional responses were top notch, with his freak out in the basement and his playful monolog coming so close to earning a 10. However, a few short cuts (reused crowd clapping a few too many times) and the overwhelming ‘mid point’ nature of the episode held it back from a perfect score.

Can’t wait for next week though!

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